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Old January 1st, 2011, 09:11 AM   #61
hammersklavier
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In Philadelphia, major north-south streets are numbered, but east-west streets are named, as are glorified alleys running between the major north-south streets.

In Center City, most east-west streets are named after trees (for example, Chestnut, Walnut, Spruce, Pine, Locust...); however, in South Philadelphia, they are named after people (Bainbridge, Christian, Washington, Morris, Tasker, Snyder...) and in a part of North Philadelphia, after Pennsylvania counties (Susquehanna, Dauphin, Allegheny, Wyoming*, Erie...) Pikes have been repurposed as avenues (Germantown, Ridge, Rising Sun, Lancaster, Baltimore...) and don't always run in the grid.

Other streets have Indian names, primarily derived from Delaware. Kingsessing, Passyunk, Wissahickon, and so forth. Peoples' names get used in other neighborhoods (Girard, Shaw, Leverington...), as do Old World place names (Upsal, Kensington, Bethlehem, Oxford...), and finally there is a spattering of some absolutely relevant (Industrial Hwy.) and silly (Mermaid Lane) names.

Atlantic City's streets are famously named after the Monopoly board!
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Old January 1st, 2011, 09:20 AM   #62
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Main Streets are very common in NYC metro area.
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Old January 1st, 2011, 11:07 AM   #63
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Not in NYC proper though, I think. The only "Main Street" that I know of in NYC is in Flushing.
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Old January 1st, 2011, 11:10 AM   #64
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I noticed a common thing for street names here is a street being named after the town that it is going towards.

Here in Hartford, there is an avenue called Wethersfield Avenue that goes down to a suburb adjacent to it called Wethersfield. There is also another street, called Farmington Avenue which goes to Farmington. And then another one called Newington Avenue that goes to Newington...you get the deal.

Town limits are also pretty small here, so streets change names pretty quickly.
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Old January 1st, 2011, 10:55 PM   #65
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Gropecunt Lane used to be a common street name in England.
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 01:23 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
In Philadelphia, major north-south streets are numbered, but east-west streets are named, as are glorified alleys running between the major north-south streets.

In Center City, most east-west streets are named after trees (for example, Chestnut, Walnut, Spruce, Pine, Locust...); however, in South Philadelphia, they are named after people (Bainbridge, Christian, Washington, Morris, Tasker, Snyder...) and in a part of North Philadelphia, after Pennsylvania counties (Susquehanna, Dauphin, Allegheny, Wyoming*, Erie...) Pikes have been repurposed as avenues (Germantown, Ridge, Rising Sun, Lancaster, Baltimore...) and don't always run in the grid.

Other streets have Indian names, primarily derived from Delaware. Kingsessing, Passyunk, Wissahickon, and so forth. Peoples' names get used in other neighborhoods (Girard, Shaw, Leverington...), as do Old World place names (Upsal, Kensington, Bethlehem, Oxford...), and finally there is a spattering of some absolutely relevant (Industrial Hwy.) and silly (Mermaid Lane) names.

Atlantic City's streets are famously named after the Monopoly board!
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Hey, I live on one of those! (Seriously, a couple of blocks west of Rittenhouse Square.)
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 01:28 AM   #67
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Main Streets are very common in NYC metro area.
All over the U.S. and English Canada, really. The British equivalent would be High Street.
Off the top of my head, big cities with a Main Street: Hartford, Buffalo, Rochester, Richmond...hmm, I used to know this sort of thing better - there must be lots that I would have come up with 20 years ago...Houston and Dallas....

The one in Philadelphia is in the Manayunk section, a separate town until 1854 that still feels like one.
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 01:30 AM   #68
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In Ontario, streetnames, town names, and highways are often based on our common shared heritage with the UK, or in names that were originally from First Nations language. In Quebec, the same is true with their French and First Nations roots.
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 01:34 AM   #69
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In Ontario, streetnames, town names, and highways are often based on our common shared heritage with the UK, or in names that were originally from First Nations language. In Quebec, the same is true with their French and First Nations roots.
Although there are a lot of English names in parts of Montreal, including the downtown. Some of which could easily have been translated into French but haven't been - they still say Rue University rather than Rue de l'Université, avenue McGill College, rue City Councillors....
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 04:04 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xusein View Post
I noticed a common thing for street names here is a street being named after the town that it is going towards.

Here in Hartford, there is an avenue called Wethersfield Avenue that goes down to a suburb adjacent to it called Wethersfield. There is also another street, called Farmington Avenue which goes to Farmington. And then another one called Newington Avenue that goes to Newington...you get the deal.

Town limits are also pretty small here, so streets change names pretty quickly.
Most of those were likely turnpikes in colonial times, and has their suffixes changed from "Pike" to "Avenue/Street/etc" when built up and part of a municipality.
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 06:42 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
Most of those were likely turnpikes in colonial times, and has their suffixes changed from "Pike" to "Avenue/Street/etc" when built up and part of a municipality.
Yep, there are quite a lot of them in the Philadelphia area:

Lancaster Pike (Rt. 30/Lincoln Hwy.) --> Lancaster Ave. Goes to Lancaster.
Baltimore Pike --> Baltimore Ave. Goes to Baltimore.
Germantown Pike --> Germantown Ave. Goes to Germantown (now a part of the city).
Bustleton Pike --> Bustleton Ave. Goes to Bustleton (a part of the city).

And so forth.

In the suburbs we have gems such as Sumneytown Pike, Penllyn-Bluebell Pike, Doylestown Pike, West Chester Pike, Downingtown Pike, Harleysville Pike, and so on and so forth. Look at the map--all these pikes go exactly where they say they go.
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 06:58 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Although there are a lot of English names in parts of Montreal, including the downtown. Some of which could easily have been translated into French but haven't been - they still say Rue University rather than Rue de l'Université, avenue McGill College, rue City Councillors....
Very true; they reflect some of the city builders during the 19th Century. This mixture of French and English influence is also clear in the architecture!
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 08:40 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
Yep, there are quite a lot of them in the Philadelphia area:

Lancaster Pike (Rt. 30/Lincoln Hwy.) --> Lancaster Ave. Goes to Lancaster.
Baltimore Pike --> Baltimore Ave. Goes to Baltimore.
Germantown Pike --> Germantown Ave. Goes to Germantown (now a part of the city).
Bustleton Pike --> Bustleton Ave. Goes to Bustleton (a part of the city).

And so forth.

In the suburbs we have gems such as Sumneytown Pike, Penllyn-Bluebell Pike, Doylestown Pike, West Chester Pike, Downingtown Pike, Harleysville Pike, and so on and so forth. Look at the map--all these pikes go exactly where they say they go.
Well, this is a quibble, but not colonial times: the first turnpike in the US - Lancaster Pike - was established a little later than that, in the 1790s. Also, I'm wondering if Pa. 340, rather than US 30, is the original route closer to Lancaster, since its name is Old Philadelphia Pike.
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 08:43 AM   #74
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Isn't PA 340 the route that passes by the Strasburg Railroad?

Bethlehem Pike was originally known as the King's Highway...that should give you some indication of its age.

I wonder when this system of turnpikes began breaking down--was it still in use at the dawn of the automotive era?
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 08:57 AM   #75
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Isn't PA 340 the route that passes by the Strasburg Railroad?

Bethlehem Pike was originally known as the King's Highway...that should give you some indication of its age.


I wonder when this system of turnpikes began breaking down--was it still in use at the dawn of the automotive era?
340's farther north than Strasburg - it's north of 30, through Bird-in-Hand and, um, Intercourse. I never paid attention to it until I got caught in construction delays (single lane, flagman....) on 30 a couple of times, so the next couple of times I was out there in the evenings I used 340 instead. It meets 30 again somewhere near Downingtown or Coatesville (but I've used Pa. 10 to get from 340 back to 30 rather than following it to the end). It's probably actually a little shorter than 30. And quieter: the main hazard on 340, even after dark, is Amish buggies.

Wikipedia says Lancaster Pike - built between 1792 and 1795 - is the first turnpike "of importance" in the country. No idea if Bethlehem Pike is older; I suppose a turnpike company could have taken over an existing road - taken responsibility for maintaining it and charged tolls for that - so the road itself could be older but not have been a turnpike. But I'm just guessing.

Turnpikes started breaking down when people started using trains for long-distance travel. But I've read that there were still tolls being collected somewhere in the Philadelphia area (can't remember which road) as late as about 1915.

EDIT: Bethlehem Pike's even older than the name King's Highway would suggest: it was a Native American trail. Became the turnpike in 1804 and only stopped collecting tolls in 1910. Per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethlehem_Pike

Last edited by Penn's Woods; January 2nd, 2011 at 09:08 AM.
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